"Our understanding is that the market expects HomePod shipments to arrive at 5-10 million units in the 2018 fiscal year, versus our forecast of only 2.0-2.5 million units," wrote Kuo, in a research note obtained by MacRumors.
The 'major miss' in HomePod shipments is thought to be related to the speaker's high price and lack of smart functionality. Kuo says the price 'could undermine demand despite excellent sound quality' and notes that Siri provides an "uninspiring user experience" compared to rivals.
It's been six years since Apple introduced Siri to the market, which was way ahead of the firm's major competitors. The massive population of iOS and macOS users is also conducive to the promotion of the voice assistant function. However, we note that for most users worldwide, Siri is not a must-have function, and Apple has not yet become a leading brand in the AI voice assistant market. We also note that HomePod has not added support for new languages in the device since launch, suggesting Apple is facing challenges in AI/voice assistant development spanning the globe; this will cap the shipments momentum of HomePod.
Apple is 'mulling' a 'low-cost version' of the HomePod but Kuo believes that even if the device materializes it will only provide a short-term boost to sales. The analyst says that Apple needs to improve Siri, support more languages, and make other improvements to the HomePod to be competitive.
Bloomberg and the China Times have also reported lackluster sales of the HomePod. Please follow iClarified on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or RSS for updates.